Series: Magic and Machinery #1
Author: Jon Messenger
Published: March 10th, 2015
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Content Warning: Non-graphic gore/violence
Recommended Age: 16+
Synopsis: In a world of science, magic is an abomination.
Magic is an abomination. It spread from the Rift, a great chasm hundreds of miles long that nearly split the southern continent in two. The Rift was a portal, a gateway between their world of science and the mythological world of magic.
On the northern continent of Ocker, King Godwin declared that no magical monstrosity would be allowed within their borders. The Royal Inquisitors were formed to investigate reports of mystical occurrences and, should they be found, to destroy them.
Inquisitor Simon Whitlock knows his responsibilities all too well. Along with the apothecary, Luthor Strong, they’ve spent two years inquiring into such reports of magical abominations, though they’ve discovered far more charlatans than true magical creatures. When assigned to investigate Haversham and its reports of werewolves, Simon remains unconvinced that the rumors are true. What he discovers in the frozen little hamlet is that the werewolves are far more real than he believed; yet they’re hardly the most dangerous monster in the city.
As a steampunk I found that the Victorian side of it was impressive! The mannerisms, the dress, and the subtle language filled with barbs. I loved how well the atmosphere was pulled off. Probably the best portrayal of the Victorian side of steampunk I've ever read. The reason why it's only rated 3 out of 5 is because the steampunk mechanics were lacking.
There was a bit of action though I found the pacing at the beginning to be a tad slow. This is where it felt like a Sherlock mystery as they deduced and spoke with the people of Haversham. It becomes clear that something is wrong and, as the cover suggests, werewolves are real.
Werewolves in this book are unique. I grinned the moment Simon noticed opposable thumbs. You'll have to read the rest for yourself, but it was neat to see the imagination the author put into his creatures. That being said, with werewolves there has to be action. I loved Messenger's action scenes. They were concise and riddled with uncertainty.
It was a bit slow for over half the book, for me. I found it felt more like a series of expected events and I had to wait for them to be over before the story began. Also, the steampunk part of it felt lacking.
With action, an Arthur Conan Doyle twist when it came to Simon and Luthor and a new twist on the werewolf myth I think people will enjoy it.
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